Crystal growth – Collaboration

From time to time, we receive requests from customers and prospective customers asking questions ranging from “how to seal a Quartz ampoule” to “what kind of equipment is required for chemical vapour transport synthesis in quartz ampoules?”

We will post a blog on how to seal Quartz ampoules at a later date, however, one of our customers is in the business of setting up equipment for growing crystals; using our world-famous Quartz ampoules, of course, with or without our proprietary method of carbon coating.

In addition to his work as Materials Scientist and Mechanical Engineer at the University of Victoria in Canada, Neil Armour, whom we affectionately call Dr. Neil, is Director of sales for Polar Scientific.

His responsibility at the University focuses on experimental research on the growth of semiconducting single crystals of CdTe, GaSb, SiGe, GaInAs, GaInSb, and CdZnTe by the solution growth techniques known as Liquid Phase Electroepitaxy (LPEE), Liquid Phase Diffusion (LPD), and Travelling Heater Method (THM). The Zone Refining (ZR) of metals such as Cd, Te, and Zn, and compounds CdTe also has experimental and numerical components.

In the past Dr Neil Armour had experimented with pyrolytic graphite crucibles for growing crystals, but only achieved limited success. He then switched to a Sandfire Scientific Ltd Carbon Coated Quartz Crucible, and to quote Neil: “Sandfire’s  crucibles worked perfectly”. It allowed him and his team to produce commercial quality material.  The photo shows a CdZnTe Crystal which was grown in a Sandfire Scientific carbon coated Quartz Crucible. The other picture shows some details of Neil’s Thermocouple probes secured to a specialty crucible from Sandfire for obtaining a thermal signature of the growth system. The other Quartz glass parts you see in the photo were also made by Sandfire Scientific Ltd.

Another area of interest is on theoretical research that includes the model development and numerical simulations for the transport phenomena involved in the growth processes of those single crystals. More information can be seen at

And that research brings us to Polar Scientific Equipment. They have over 10 years’ experience in developing highly specialized process equipment for semiconductor crystal growth.  The platforms are custom-made for the production of new novel materials by traditional or new growth method.  As you can read on their website, they have produced melt growth platforms Czochralski, Bridgman and Vertical Gradient Freeze (VGF) techniques.  They also have experience in producing a wide range of solution growth equipment including Travelling Heater Method (THM) systems and Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) systems.  In addition to growth systems, they also have extensive experience in developing associated infrastructure for cutting, polishing, sealing, etc. More information can be obtained by visiting

Growing crystals and Quartz ampoules go hand in hand, and as mentioned in the beginning, Neil and his team have used Quartz ampoules, profilers, crucibles, rings, plugs and other Quartz items manufactured by Sandfire Scientific Ltd. Our collaboration extends to also providing some of Neil’s international research and development associates with our Quartz items.

We have an excellent business relationship with Neal and we invite you to contact him if you plan on setting up or fine tuning your equipment for crystal growth. And we invite you to contact us for all your Quartz labglass needs. In addition to being able to supply you with plain ampoules, we can provide you with high purity carbon coated ampoules. Different thickness of carbon can be applied using our proprietary method to suit your requirements.

Happy crystal growing!